Your ’Yongala Dive experience’ and day trip to the historic S.S. Yongala wreck begins on arrival at our premises at Alva Beach where our friendly staff will talk you through completing the necessary paperwork and the Instructor’s will assist/brief you on your dive gear.
Once all the necessities are completed you can purchase some breakfast or a drink at our ‘Beach Cafe’ and mingle with your dive buddies while awaiting the Dive Briefing. Then we’ll take you on a ‘unique’ day trip as we 4WD to the beach where we launch the Yongala Express for our trip to the S.S. Yongala.
A short boat ride of approximately 30 minutes brings us to the wreck in no time and straight in for our first dive. We don’t put any restrictions on your dive times either so enjoy and have fun!
Fresh fruit and snacks will be served during the one hour surface interval and there is a plentiful supply of cordial and water on board. In winter we even serve hot tea, coffee and soup to keep the chill away. We often catch turtles sun-baking on the surface and sea snakes popping up during the hour while enjoying our snacks !
Then it’s back into the water for our final dive before heading back to Alva Beach where you can shower, change and sit and discuss your awesome dive experiences with your new found friends over lunch at our Beach Cafe.
Watch this Yongala day video to give you an insight into the unique Yongala dive experience - it shows a typical day in July and if you are lucky enough, like the people shown, you could see Humpback Whales whilst onboard the Yongala Express during your way to and from the dive site (in the whale season of June to September).
What diving experience is required?
As a minimum requirement you need an ”open water certification” and to have at least 6 logged dives. If you are an open water diver or adventure diver without deep dive training we will require you to complete the PADI ‘Deep’ Adventure dive during your first dive on the S.S Yongala, this will help advance their skills to the required level and to ensure a safe and memorable experience. You can gain credit for this towards your advanced open water course, you just need to purchase a manual and complete the neccesary theory with the Dive Instructor.
Novice divers (those with less than 20 dives) should ensure they have refreshed their skills within the last six months and will be provided with a dive guide. The more experienced divers can choose to dive just with their buddy or take a guided tour from one of our experienced dive guides at no extra cost.
The S.S Yongala shipwreck is classed as an intermediate dive site, meaning it can be subject to changing conditions i.e waves height and currents.
What are the conditions like?
Almost constant sunshine and temperatures averaging around 31°C in the summer and 25°C in the winter (can cool to around 14°C in the evening) combine to make this area a great destination at all times of the year. Humidity is about 70% throughout the year with the highest rainfall coming from end of January to February.
The lovely warm waters of tropical Northern Queensland vary from around 26-31°C in the summer to 22-25°C in the winter, means diving is possible all year around. Lookout for the whales during the winter months (june to sept) while manta rays also make frequent appearances during June to December.
Due to the location of the wreck we will be moored in open water and surface conditions can sometimes be choppy and moderate currents may be experienced. If you suffer from seasickness please take appropriate medication before departure as we are unable to provide refunds due to seasickness.
Daily Schedule – 7 Days a Week
(schedule 30 mins earlier on 2 trip days)
7:30am Check in at Dive Shop – Forms/Payment, Set up dive gear
8:10am Dive Briefing
8:30am Depart for the beach and S.S. Yongala – Make 2 dives with 1 hour surface interval
2:00pm Return back to Yongala Dive Shop
Lunch at the Beach Cafe, fill in logbooks, complete knowledge reviews and adventure dive paperwork
Photo Slideshow (option to purchase photo dvd’s), browse through Yongala Dive merchandise
3:00pm Drop-off’s back to Ayr (to catch the 3:25 pm greyhound bus)
The above schedule is a guide only and times may change depending on weather and tides. It is important to call the Dive Shop between 3.30 – 5pm the day prior to your trip to confirm departure details. Please bring travel voucher, money, a towel and warm jumper for the boat. Certification card will be required to be shown prior to diving, if you do not have this please contact us prior to arrival.
Please Note: if the dive boat is delayed for any reason we cannot guarantee you will make your bus connection in Ayr. Instead, we suggest you relax after your day’s diving and stay overnight in our accommodation and leave the following day. The Yongala Beach Cafe is available Wednesday to Sunday inclusive for dinner. We have options available for Monday and Tuesday when the cafe is closed. We do also have internet vouchers available for purchase during your stay.
If you are undertaking dive training (such as adventure dives) then we recommend staying overnight after your day’s diving, this way there is no rush to complete knowledge reviews with your instructor before departing. Another option is to drop into the Dive Shop the afternoon prior to your trip and collect your paperwork which will give you extra time to complete your knowledge reviews prior to your dives.
An RSTC Medical Statement will need to be completed if you are undertaking any dive training with us please check the form and contact us if you think you will need to answer ‘YES’ to any of the questions on this form.
All other divers will need to complete a Liability Form with some medical questions, if you have any medical conditions which could preclude you from diving or are taking prescription medication please discuss this with our staff prior to booking as we are unable to offer refunds on the day if you are unable to dive.
I am arriving in Ayr, do you offer a pickup..?
- We offer free pick-up’s daily from Ayr at 12:45pm and 3:25pm (at Ayr Bus Stop) for those passengers staying in our Dive Lodge.
- If you require a return pick up from your accommodation in Ayr on the morning of your dive there is a $10 fee.
- Pick-up’s MUST be booked in advance so please provide us with details of your arrival time so we know when to collect you as we only go the bus stop for pre-arranged pick-ups.